HbA1c levels are directly related to the severity of erectile dysfunction (ED) in diabetic men. "To our knowledge, this is the first study of the effect of diabetes mellitus control on erectile function, describing the severity of ED in categorical groups, based on a validated questionnaire," Dr. Ernani L. Rhoden and colleagues, from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil, note.
The findings, which appear in the March issue of BJU International, are based on a study of 115 diabetic men who visited a urology center for ED between 2000 and 2001. HbA1c and fasting glucose levels were measured and erectile function was assessed with a standard questionnaire.
The rates of mild, moderate or severe ED among men with HbA1c levels lower than 8% were 50%, 18%, and 32%, respectively. In contrast, among men with higher levels, a shift toward more severe ED was seen with 25%, 29%, and 46% having mild, moderate or severe ED, respectively (p = 0.008).
Men with HbA1c levels of at least 11% had a significantly higher rate of severe ED than men with lower levels (p = 0.0002).
Further analysis showed that the association between HbA1c levels and ED severity was confined to men with diabetes duration of longer than 5 years.
"Future studies are needed to explain the nature of this relationship, and to assess whether lowering HbA1c serum levels by adequately treating diabetes mellitus might improve erectile function," the researchers state.
BJU Int 2005;95:615-617.
While the jury is still out on the health effects of the popular Atkins diet in humans, a new study shows that diabetic cats may benefit from eating a high-protein "Catkins" diet. With funding from the Morris Animal Foundation (www.morrisanimalfoundation.org), Deborah Greco and Mark Peterson, staff endocrinologists at the Animal Medical Center in New York, found that in many cases, veterinarians and cat owners can control diabetes with diet. Their results show that most diabetic cats on the "Catkins" diet can ditch daily insulin shots altogether.
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